Our Vineyards and Viticulture
Historically, Vinho Verde has always been densely populated because of the fertility of the land, resulting that the size of land per family would be very small. This distinctive characteristic is still true in our Territory in Monção and Melgaço, where the parcels of vineyards remain very small. These plots are therefore treated like gardens by the families that, other than grape-growing, have other professional occupations and take care of their vineyards at the end of the working day and on weekends. Our story is the story of one of these families that created lifelong partnerships with other families in the region —the story of one vineyard that is now a Territory.
Club of Producers
Our link with the community led us to create the Club of Producers, uniting all of our grape growers and motivating their focus on quality. All of these hands give a special and inimitable attribute of diversity to our wines.
Soalheiro is the first brand of Alvarinho in Melgaço. As our work focuses on this single variety, we need different dimensions of the grape to create different dimensions of wines. This is why the Club of Producers is so important for us, as this is the best way to promote biodiversity for the grapes. As a result, our wines come from varied clones of the Alvarinho varietal that improve the diversity of aromas and flavours. Our secret is the blend of diverse ways of producing Alvarinho grapes, in different soils and micro terroirs by different people that, in turn, amplify our knowledge and the potential of this grape.
More than anything, however, the concept of the Club of Producers is based on the socio-economic sustainability of the region. Through this investment, our objective is to ensure that the families that represent the region, carrying and transmitting its culture and traditions, maintain a strong connection with their own lands. The Club of Producers also allows us to supervise our member families as they practice sustainable viticulture – a necessary component of our quality requirements.
Own organic vineyards
In 2006 we had all of our vineyards certified as organic/biological agriculture. This was a pioneering initiation in our region. It is exclusively the fruit from these vines that we use to produce Soalheiro Terramatter and Soalheiro Nature. To this day, our winegrowing practices promote environmental sustainability and support biodiversity in our viticultural ecosystems, not only in our own vineyards but also spreading the same spirit to our producers’ club. In 2021 we will take another big step, moving forward with the knowledge we already have and converting to biodynamic concepts.
In Monção and Melgaço we have three main systems of training our vineyards. The descending training system has the leaves and vegetation of the grapevine facing downwards. This provides shelter for the grape bunches, only allowing for half exposure to the sun. The ascending training system, on the other hand, features an ascending wall of vegetation, finding the bunches with full sun exposure. The grapevines in the “Ramada” style (the rarest variation) have the leaves and vegetation laid out horizontally, leaving the bunches in complete shade.